22. Hatcher and the Quarry Map, 1901


In 1899 and 1900, teams from the recently founded Carnegie Museum discovered two nearly complete Diplodocus skeletons in Sheep Creek, Wyoming. Hatcher, who had left Marsh's employ and now worked for Andrew Carnegie, named the new species Diplodocus carnegiei, after his patron, and his monograph tells the full story of the discoveries, with thirteen plates that show, among other things, each of the forty-one vertebrae recovered from the type specimen. The final plate is a large foldout with a complete skeletal restoration. At 1/30 natural size, the restored skeleton is around 26" long, and it has often been reprinted. To see the plate with the restoration of Diplodocus, click here.

But in some ways the first plate in the monograph is even more remarkable, in spite of its plain appearance and prosaic caption: "Diagram of Quarry C. Showing positions of skeletons 84 and 94." Hatcher here introduced a new kind of visual image into the arsenal of the paleontologist: the quarry map. It shows the exact positions of the bones of the two Diplodocus skeletons as they lay when discovered, and also shows the scattered bones of other species, such as Stegosaurus and Brontosaurus. The quarry map would soon become a standard feature of dinosaur monographs.

For clarity, we reproduce only a detail of the complete map, showing the area of the first Diplodocus discovery. To see the complete map, click here.

The Carnegie mount of Diplodocus would soon become one of the best known in the world, when casts of the skeleton were distributed to museums in Europe and America. Click here for more on the world-wide travels of "Dippy".


Hatcher, John Bell. "Diplodocus (Marsh): Its osteology, taxonomy, and probable habits, with a restoration of the skeleton," in: Memoirs of the Carnegie Museum, vol. 1 (1901), pp. 1-63. This work was on display in the original exhibition as item 22.

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